By Frank Warren
I WAS THRILLED on Friday to bring the Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte ‘will they, won’t they’ saga to a successful conclusion with a winning purse bid to ensure our man will enjoy his home comforts on the big night.
We did expect to post the winning bid and were confident of obtaining the right to stage this blockbuster heavyweight bash but, in this game, you do learn to expect the unexpected at times.
It wasn’t a close run thing in the end with our bid, in association with Top Rank, dwarfing that of Matchroom by some distance, which is good news for Dillian, who will bank the sort of figure he was hoping for.
What’s more, there is a 10% bonus for the winner to bolster the guaranteed earnings.
Yes we are talking about big numbers here but, for me, it is all about the fight and the occasion. Hopefully we will also get a lively and entertaining build-up and this should certainly be the case when we put together two of the biggest characters in British sport.
We will be making announcements this week regarding the date and venue and the following week we will bring the fighters together for an opening media event to officially set the ball rolling.
Then it will be all systems go to get the word out on the biggest fight of the year, one which the world will be tuned in to and one that truly captures the imagination.
This the best fight out there for Tyson at the present time. A fight with Oleksandr Usyk clearly has huge appeal because it would bring all the world championship belts together, but this is a better fight because Dillian always gets into the ring with bad intentions and looks to make a real fight of it.
It is going to be a very special night and I would imagine that tickets will sell like hot cakes, so make sure you stay tuned for the release of details.
I am also very happy to deliver this fight for BT Sport, who I know will do a fantastic and imaginative job both in promoting and showcasing the event.
It is occasions of this magnitude that we always had in mind for Tyson when we brought him back from his exile in mid-2018. His subsequent deal with ESPN served the purpose of making him probably the best known heavyweight and one of the biggest sporting personalities in the USA, but the time is right to bring him home to perform in front of a mass British audience.
After all, Tyson is something of a national treasure these days and the public can relate and connect to him in a way that is simply not possible with other less accessible sporting superstars.
Tyson is a true man of the people and he will soon be back doing what he does best in front of a home crowd.
Securing this fight is going to turbocharge our schedule and give us real momentum. We’ve got other huge matches in the pipeline, such as Zach Parker taking on Demetrius Andrade, which will go to purse bids if a short negotiation period comes to nothing. We’ve also got to nail down a date for Daniel Dubois to challenge for the WBA world heavyweight title against Trevor Bryan, which I hope to put in place for the spring.
Then, once he is back in business after injury, we’ve got WBO No.1 contender Joe Joyce to put in the mix, as well as big business at light heavyweight with Anthony Yarde and Callum Johnson
So we are working through a lot of significant fight making at the moment and perhaps the real Golden Ticket for a selection of our fighters will be a slot on Tyson’s undercard.
What a profile boost this will bring for the lucky few with the eyes of the world watching and we will be sure to put together a cracking night’s entertainment.
It will be Box Office stuff, in more ways than one!